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Wednesday, June 08, 2011

President Obama Speaks About Growing up Fatherless

Father's Day is around the corner and, just in time for the celebration of all dads who have stepped up to handle their responsibilities, the POTUS sat down to pen an open letter for the next issue of People Magazine.  In honor of the holiday, President Obama wrote an essay on what Father's Day means to him. 

I grew up without a father around. I have certain memories of him taking me to my first jazz concert and giving me my first basketball as a Christmas present. But he left when I was two years old.
And even though my sister and I were lucky enough to be raised by a wonderful mother and caring grandparents, I always felt his absence and wondered what it would have been like if he had been a greater presence in my life. I still do. It is perhaps for this reason that fatherhood is so important to me, and why I've tried so hard to be there for my own children.
That's not to say I've always been a perfect dad. I haven't. When Malia and Sasha were younger, work kept me away from home more than it should have. At times, the burden of raising our two daughters has fallen too heavily on Michelle. During the campaign, not a day went by that I didn't wish I could spend more time with the family I love more than anything else in the world.
But through my own experiences, and my continued efforts to be a better father, I have learned something over the years about what children need most from their parents.
I can appreciate how he brings forth the issue of growing up fatherless and turns it into something positive. I can only wish to be a fly on the wall in the White House but I think President Obama is an awesome father figure.  It is clear he makes time to be there for his girls. With so many Americans and people worldwide living without their father's it is admirable that the leader of the free world finds time for his daughters. I LOVE that he accepts his shortcomings and does not use his lack of a father figure as an excuse NOT to become a great father.  Having never met my biological paternal grandfather, I know how difficult it can be for a man to grow up without his biological father. What I also know is it does not have to have a negative impact on the offspring of the father-less child. Understand that your children are not asking you to be the perfect parent, they appreciate you just for being there. My father made a vow to me to be a much better father to me than his father was to him and I am so grateful to him for his efforts to honor his word. 2 snaps for the Prez and 3 snaps for my Papa! 

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